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Silver Scale

Tulibees

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On the lake I've been fishing the general concensus is that their is an abuncance of 2-3 year old tulibees. The muskies seem to hitting the lures with there mouths closed. One theroy is that they do this to prey to stun them and come back when the fish are stunned and eat them. Any thoughts on this. Of the few fish that have been caught most have been foul hooked which sort of supports the above theroy.

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Interesting, but I'm not sure how stunned a fish can get from being nose bumped by a muskie. I've handled dozens of tullibee's through the spear hole and haven't seen a pike do this or when we've caught them (tullibee) they are and should be freaked out and tough to handle through the hole, but who knows.

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maybe they are just in a negative mood and are curious in the bait

i think the "stunning" thing is b.s. they are top dog and can absolutely annihilate their prey - why fuss around with stunning it first?

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I've experienced similar behavior with pike in waters where they are the top predator. I use a camera during ice season and have had it happen numerous times where the pike will cruise through and smack the camera. I can't narrow it down to being territorial or if it's just out of curiosity. I know were talking about muskie but I think their are some behavioral attributes that relate to apex predators regardless of species. When this happens, it often occurs more than once which makes me believe it's a territorial thing. As for "stunning" I don't believe esox would bother with it when they have a mouth full of sharp teeth.

For comparison; species like Marlin and Sailfish are much more suited to the "stunning" technique since they lack the teeth but have that speed to slam through a school of bait and thrash a few unlucky victims to then follow up and inhale dinner. I may be going a bit off topic here but it's some food for thought.

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Are most of your foul hooked fish hooked near the mouth? Are you using erratic baits? I have seen foul hooked fish before but all have been on baits that are erratic and I assmued that the fish was coming in for a closer look and the erratic action of the bait hooked them because they got too close.

I am pretty sure that muskies don't bump fish to stun them.

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Yes, I have heard of this Silver Scale. My friend who is a muskie guide was telling me about this same thing. Not sure if it is completely true or not, but I have had a lot of fish bumping baits that have gotten foul hooked. I have already accidentally snagged 2 fish already this year and I know my brother has snagged at least 1 accidentally already this year as I was with him when it happened. I think it has more to do with fish being territorial than stunning fish, but that is just my opinion. I have had a lot of hits this year that I would categorize as "territorial" hits. There is a big difference in the velocity of the hit between a fish that is hungry and one that is just being territorial. Kind've like a cat who doesn't like something, he will let you know by "play" biting, definitely not biting to eat though. Just my 2 cents.

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I really don't have a clue, but the ski's seem to at times really get on a bait almost hard to believe they aren't touching it etc. I think they are way in tune to feeding and chasing and have been doing so since a fingerling, they get quite a few years under their belt and are the reason we all go through the ups and downs of hookin up with them.

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Baits be used are bucktails so no erradic action. Most foul hooked fish are in or aroun the head. Territorial might be one reason. I threw in the stunning scenaro as I've seen tulibees floundering on the surface and if you can get to them before the eagles and osprey they show no teeth marks or anything else wrong with them. Almost like they were stunned but it could be something else. I have observed fish hitting bucktails from the side that never opened there mouths.

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I've seen fish do the things you're describing, but I agree with michigan man and have a hard time believing a ski would spend all that energy to stun and then come back on their prey, especially a tulibee, which seem to be both dumb and slow, when it could just crunch and munch and be done with it.

Keep in mind if you're throwing over weeds/structure like most of us do when you fish you're probably not contacting the fish that eat mostly tulibees.

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boy jredig, that sure makes you wonder how many follows you have that you never see...

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Hence why I always figure 8, even when it's clear water and I don't see anything. Couple other trolling video's show the fish coming up real close to investigate, then they kinda fade away and disappear only to explode on the lure and crush it a second later.

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